Law enforcement officials in Augusta are noticing some dangerous trends with gangs. Local gangs are not only affiliating themselves with dangerous national gangs, they’re bullying younger kids into joining.
Augusta’s gang investigation unit has seen neighborhood gangs like the Georgia Deadly Boys and The Harrisburg Posse recently affiliate themselves with the more powerful and dangerous national gang, the Bloods.
Devon Harris, a gang intervention specialist, says gang activity is escalating in Augusta and younger kids are getting pressured to join for social status. He recently spoke to a middle school student who had just become a Blood:
“I said, ‘Well they’re going to put that gun in your hands, how are you going to make that decision?’ He said, ‘I haven’t thought about that, it’s just about credibility to me.’ So that’s what’s happened, the indoctrination of that bringing it to another level.”
Richmond County schools Public Safety Corporal Adrienne Burns has watched a spike in gang action infiltrate the school system. She says smaller rival neighborhood gangs are now teaming up to commit crimes.
“If they commit and work together, they can gain more money and commit more crimes. It’s all about the advancement of the gangs, so if they can get along to commit the crimes, they still have their separate organizations but the more power you have.”
Three taskforces in Augusta are working to combat local gangs, including the FBI. The issue of gangs resurfaced in Augusta during a July 6th shooting that left six people hurt.